Topic:
MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS/EMPLOYEES; MISDEMEANOR; SENTENCING; BRIBERY; STATE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES;

OLR Research Report


January 15, 2008

 

2008-R-0053

FAILURE TO REPORT BRIBERY

By: Kristin Sullivan, Associate Analyst

You want to know which states classify failure to report bribery as a crime, to whom each law applies, and its penalty. You are particularly interested in the statutory language for any such law covering public officials and employees.

SUMMARY

We found four states (Alaska, Illinois, North Carolina, and Oklahoma) that have enacted laws making failure to report bribery a crime. Of those, Alaska and Illinois have laws that apply to all public officials and employees, not only a subset like bank examiners as is the case in North Carolina or Commissioners of the Land Office employees as is the case in Oklahoma. For each of the four states, Table 1 shows who the law covers and the penalty for violating it.

Table 1: Failure to Report Bribery

State

Individuals Law Covers

Penalty

Alaska

(AS 11.56.124)

State and local public servants, including consultants who are under contract with the state

class A misdemeanor

Illinois

(720 ILCS 5/33-2 and 5/29-3)

n State public officers and employees and jurors

n Any person who participates in, officiates, or is connected with a professional or amateur sporting event

class A misdemeanor

class A misdemeanor

North Carolina

(NCGS 14-233)

Bank examiners

class I felony

Oklahoma

(OKSA 64-113)

Appraisers and other employees of the Commissioners of the Land Office

discharge from employment

ALASKA

Statutory Language

The Alaska statue reads as follows:

(a) A public servant commits the crime of failure to report bribery or receiving a bribe if the public servant:

1. witnesses what the public servant knows or reasonably should know is (A) bribery of a public servant by another person or (B) receiving a bribe by another public servant; and

2. does not as soon as reasonably practicable report that crime to a peace officer or a law enforcement agency.

(b) Failure to report bribery or receiving a bribe is a class A misdemeanor (AS 11.56.124).

Sentence and Applicability

Under Alaska's penal code, a class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both (AS 12.55.035 and 12.55.135). "Public servant" means a person, whether or not compensated, except for a juror or witness who is:

1. an officer or employee of the state (or one of its municipalities, political subdivisions, or governmental instrumentalities) including legislators, members of the judiciary, and peace officers;

2. acting as an advisor, consultant, or assistant at the request of, the direction of, or under contract with the state (or one of its municipalities, political subdivisions, or governmental instrumentalities);

3. who serves as a member of a board or commission created by statute or by legislative, judicial, or administrative action by the state, (or one of its municipalities, political subdivisions, or governmental instrumentalities); or

4. nominated, elected, appointed, employed, or designated to act in a capacity defined in any of the above positions, but who does not occupy the position (AS 11.81.900).

ILLINOIS

Statutory Language

The Illinois statute reads as follows:

Any public officer, public employee, or juror who fails to report forthwith to the local state's attorney, or in the case of a state employee to the Department of State Police, any offer made to him in violation of 720 ILCS 5/33-1 commits a class A misdemeanor.

In the case of a state employee, the making of such report to the Department of State Police shall discharge such employee from any further duty under this section. Upon receiving any such report, the Department of State Police shall forthwith transmit a copy thereof to the appropriate state's attorney (720 ILCS 5/33-2).

Sentence and Applicability

Under Illinois' penal code, a class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both (730 ILCS 5/5-9-1 and 5/5-8-3). “Public officer” means a person who is elected to office pursuant to statute, or who is appointed to an office with statutorily-prescribed qualifications and duties, to discharge a public duty for the state or any of its political subdivisions (720 ILCS 5/2-18). “Public employee” means a person, other than a public officer, who is authorized to perform an official function on behalf of the state and who is paid by the state or any of its political subdivisions (720 ILCS 5/2-17).

KS:ts